Medical Specialty >> Pharmacy

Doctors Lounge - Pharmacy Answers

Back to Pharmacy Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge (www.doctorslounge.com) does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on www.doctorslounge.com is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 9/5/2017.

Forum Name: Pharmacy & Drug Topics

Question: Hydrocodone risks


 Confused - Mon May 02, 2005 9:22 am

Hi I thank you for your help and time in advance.I am writing to ask your advice on something.I have bad arthritis in both of my legs.I am only 30 years old ,but I was diagnosed 2 years ago.I have been prescribed hydrocodone for the pain.My prescription specifically says as needed for pain.They are 10/500.I take 8-10 a day.They don't work otherwise.While i know the limit of acetaminophen is 4000 milligrams a day.i will use 5000 milligrams on most days.I spread it out to usually 1 pill every 2 hours sometimes every 3 hours.I am very worried I am in danger of dying from liver failaure.I do take milk thistle and Nac .I also tale inositol on occasion to try and protect my liver.I know the limit 4000,but the pain is fierce.How much danger am i really in with the 5000 milligrams i currently use.My doctor seems kind of nonchalant about this and I want to be safe.Any info you can give me will be greatly appreciated.
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Mon May 02, 2005 2:59 pm

User avatar For the average healthy adult, the maximum recommended dose of acetaminophen over a 24 hour period is four grams (4000 mg). In recommended doses, acetaminophen is quite safe to use. Acetaminophen is toxic to the liver in high doses; a single dose of 7 to 10 grams of acetaminophen can cause liver damage in the average healthy adult.

It seems that certain individuals are more prone than others to develop acetaminophen-induced liver damage. Doses as low as 3 to 4 grams in a single dose or 4 to 6 grams over 24 hours have been reported to cause severe liver injury, sometimes even resulting in death. People who drink alcohol regularly appear to be especially susceptible to acetaminophen liver damage. Therefore, a person who drinks more than two alcoholic beverages per day should not take more than two grams of acetaminophen (equivalent to four extra strength tablets) over 24 hours.

Please stick to the recommended doses. Consult your doctor to prescribe a different pain killer if you feel your dose is insufficient for your pain.
Thank you.

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us